Public service is a commitment, but a vital part of government
We currently find ourselves in the middle of a tumultuous time in Garfield County.Phenomenal growth, traffic issues, housing questions galore, a strange job market, wildlife problems, an energy boom, education concerns – just to name a few – are all issues impacting our lives.The men and women who will make decisions concerning these issues and others like them, reside on the various municipal and county councils, boards, committees and commissions. From school boards to city councils, issues will be addressed and decisions made that will have a far-reaching impact on each and every one of us.Whenever there’s an election, a scant few step forward to be part of this important process.That’s disturbing. People love to complain about the decisions but few want to be part of the decision-making process.It’s not an easy choice to step up. There’s a time commitment, there’s media and public scrutiny – it’s a thankless job to say the least. But it’s a vital job to ensure that our future is handled properly and with care. It really is a decision based in the realm of the greater good. Thankless, yes, but just as rewarding.It’s indeed a sacrifice. That’s why it’s called public service.This fall, Rifle and Glenwood Springs will hold elections. There are openings on school boards, and call-outs to participate in municipal committees and commissions.Many openings, but very few people choosing to be part of the process.Abraham Lincoln used 272 words in his timeless speech at Gettysburg. While talking about one of the most deadly and hideous battles in the Civil War, the 16th President of the United States also summed up the importance of democracy.The speech ended with these prophetic words: “… and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”Even on the smallest level of community government, it’s the people that step forward to be part of the process who will make decisions for the rest of us. It’s an important job. The future of our communities resides in the hands of a select few. And it’s very concerning that few want to be part of that of that vital process.Public service is a commitment and a sacrifice. But it’s also the key to local community government.We’d like to thank all the men and women who have stepped forward in the past, and at the same time we want to encourage others to find the time and make that very important sacrifice to be part of local government.
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